Getting Healthy

Shannon’s issues lie in her Lymphedema – the swelling of her inner and outer thighs. She swells because her lymph system is damaged from chemo/radiation/and lymph node removal. We take for granted our functioning lymph system. A little biology lesson for you:
The lymphatic system has three functions:
  • The removal of excess fluids from body tissues. …
  • Absorption of fatty acids and subsequent transport of fat, chyle, to the circulatory system.
  • Production of immune cells (such as lymphocytes, monocytes, and antibody-producing cells called plasma cells
Here is what Shannon has been doing and learning over the past few months:
November 2017 – Shannon and I visited the University of Chicago to meet with Dr. David Chang to see if she was a candidate for Lymph Node Replacement and Micro Surgery to rewire her lymph system. The process would be to remove lymph nodes from her neck and replace them in her legs. The surgery would require 1 surgery per leg, with no guarantees, and results could take upwards of 1 year to show any benefit.
December 2017– Shannon was referred to Cindy Stillwell Chronister of Core Health Thermography and Wellness. Cindy is a health and wellness professional using a functional approach to therapy and well being.
Shannon’s Treatment Plan
Core Health, Thermography & Wellness
     Electro Lymphatic Therapy- Currently 1x per week – 1 1/2 Hour session

Our bodies have 50% more lymph than blood and tend to be the most underrated and misunderstood part of our circulatory system.  However, the importance of the lymphatic system is becoming more apparent as it plays a critical role in supporting our immune system and fighting pathogens. Many health challenges can be caused or exacerbated by a compromised lymphatic system.

The lymph system is responsible for removing waste, as well as delivering nutrients throughout our body.  This is accomplished with a network of lymph nodes and collection vessels that act as a filtration and purification system.  Unlike the blood circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump.  Without assistance, Lymph is only moved with exercise (muscles moving), it’s own fluid pressure and also by nerve pulsations.

Lymphatic flow can be compromised by toxins, scar tissue from surgery or injuries, tight-fitting garments, stress and even aging.  Those who exercise less, who have more sedentary occupations and who may be exposed to more chemicals may also have a more congested lymphatic system.

ELT is quite different than manual lymph drainage, which can also be effective.  However, ELT is a full body therapy that can stimulate the lymph at a greater depth and will enhance lymph flow with far less time.
Using a combination of vibration, light, and electrical waves to stimulate lymphatic flow, ELT helps to dislodge trapped proteins (not to be confused with nutrient proteins) to release their bond.  The congested lymph is liberated and will flow out into its normal filtration and reabsorption channels.
          Zyto Biofeedback- Monthly

Zyto Elite relies upon an array of biocommunication principles and concepts that provide us with deeper insight when making decisions related to your individual needs. During a ZYTO bio-feedback scan, the Hand Cradle measures your body’s galvanic skin response (GSR – an established technology that measures fluctuations in electrical conductivity of the skin). You can think of ZYTO scans as questionnaires to which your body’s GSR data provides the answers. These scans are designed by some of the best and brightest professionals in the world for the purpose of providing the most pertinent information about your wellness. At the completion of a scan, the software’s analysis is documented in the form of a report.

In our office, Everybody is actually two words – Every Body.   Because every person is different, making it impossible to use a cookie cutter recipe.  Using the Loomis System and the innovative ZYTO scan technology, we discern information specific to your body’s unique needs – your biological preferences.
          Nutritional Analysis- Monthly

Food enzymes are a crucial component in our food supply, yet they are systematically removed to extend shelf life. Enzyme nutrition is the science of using nutrition to maintain homeostasis and health in the body.  It works with the body’s innate intelligence to restore energy resources using whole foods that contain protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

While shelf life is necessary, enzymes must be replaced. For example, when milk is pasteurized it depletes the vitamin A and D content as well as enzymes. Vitamins are added back in, but enzymes are not. Enzymes are the construction workers of the body. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals are simply the building materials.

Every body is biochemically unique. Individuals cannot and should not be categorized or labeled to fit into a particular paradigm. What is good for the general public is not necessarily good for the individual. Before recommendations are made for an individual, specific biochemical and mechanical needs must be objectively ascertained.
          The Loomis System- Daily

The Loomis System® was developed by Howard Loomis, Jr. and is a system of techniques that can be used to determine the hidden causes of digestive and other potential health challenges. All stress, whether it is from a mechanical, chemical, or emotional source, increases the body’s need for nutrition. This system focuses on this need because when the body does not have the adequate nutrition to meet the increased stress, the results are always the same.

It is typical of our clients to have a lack of energy or some other nagging symptoms, however, they have not progressed into the disease process.
          Redox Cell Signaling Supplement- Daily
 Redox signaling is cellular communication within a living organism and is an essential function of normal physiology. In fact, a wide range of biochemical and physiological processes critically depend on redox signaling in and among our cells.
Health Link Family Chiropractic 
Chiropractic Adjustments
Shannon was referred to a Chiropractor as part of the Zyto Biofeedback results. She started going to Dr. Moses Wahl in February with a full analysis and treatment plan. She has been going 3 times per week for a couple weeks and is now at 2 times a week and will continue with care. 
          Meditation / Mindfulness
Shannon was recommended by Dr. Wahl to enroll in a Mediation Class and Shannon has been the past 2 weeks. Once per week for 30 minutes. 
Here for the Girls / Beyond Boobs
         In Person Breast Cancer Support 
Shannon was referred to Beyond Boobs ( in 2017 soon after her diagnosis and her involvement has been a game changer. There is something about being with other warriors that lift each other up. Shannon’s first battle with cancer was alone, she did not have support. Her second battle she has an army of warriors who have become lifelong friends, the support will always be needed.
Shannon’s treatment plan as you can see is extensive, expensive, but so worth it for her total well being and state of mind. The lymphedema will never go away, but so far the treatments work, to make her life enjoyable again. Priceless!

4 Years

My last post on Caring Bridge to our small and diligent “Prayer Team” consisting of close friends and family was four years ago almost to the day. Little did I know then how impactful those updates were to become. In those four years in between, Shannon was diagnosed with cancer again (breast cancer) and has had considerable health issues as well.  Along the way, I too, had my own health issues to deal with, that of depression and anxiety. I have spent many posts on catching up our new friends and supporters on Shannon’s journey through my eyes. The purpose of all of this was to provide healing for me, as the caregiver/ encourager. Writing has become a place of introspective therapy for me. Words come easier for me, part of my blessing and curse in being in my head a considerable amount of the time. This can work as an advantage in some situations and is paralyzing in other situations. Part of my challenge with my healing is understanding the difference between those situations and using my brain the best way I can. I feel alone in this journey, perhaps much like Shannon did with her first cancer diagnosis, but I am confident there are others out there experiencing the same as me. Shannon and my goal with this blog and subsequent online community are to bring together the warriors and encouragers into a safe place.

As I write this post it is March 7, 2018. I just dropped off Shannon at her Electro Lymphatic Therapy at Core Health and Thermography in Troy, Va., which is about 60 miles west of Richmond and 15 miles east of Charlottesville, Va. Shannon has been coming for therapy two times a week for the past month or so and has been experiencing wonderful results. We found out about this therapy from Bunny Young of A Better Place Consulting, Shannon’s therapist Cindy Stillwell-Chronister is on a mission to help people to get healthy, through diet change, education, and healing. As far as we are concerned she is a guardian angel for Shannon. Cindy is the only therapist using Electro Lymphatic Therapy in the state of Virginia. Shannon feels so blessed to have her so close. For the better part of a month, I have driven Shannon to her appointments and waited for her in Cindy’s office while they spent the next one and a half to two hours in treatment. Bunny has recommended for me to take time for myself and to write, and she encouraged me to drop Shannon off and go grab a coffee at one of the local spots around the corner and write during this time. How empowering this is for me, and I am gladly doing it.

In future posts, I am going to detail what Cindy has educated us both on health and wellness, and this applies to not only cancer patients but for everyone. We are at the beginning a lifestyle change that will change the trajectory of our health and definitely help our kids – fourteen and twelve to have a better, healthier life.

In future posts, I am also going to chronicle my return to health. As of today, I am 30 pounds overweight, on 2 blood pressure medications, and now an anti-depressant/anxiety medication. Accountability is the key and I am sharing this with you so that you can perhaps hold me accountable through encouraging comments and prayers.

In future posts, I would also like to share other warriors and encouragers stories. I have a few in mind but would love to hear from you. Are you a Warrior or Encourager that is in need of community, healing, growth? Please share with me privately, my email is in the about us section. I would love to share the joy of writing with you and give you a voice on this page.

Shannon and I are working diligently with Bunny Young to create this community which empowers everyone to be a ripple, to help someone, who in turn will help someone, and so on and so on. I look forward to continuing to write and to share, laugh, and cry along the way. Thank you for being a part of our journey and for letting us be a ripple for you.

Love – Kevin